This conserved domain family includes a large number of catalytically inactive chitinase-like lectins (chitolectins) including YKL-39, YKL-40 (HCGP39), YM1, oviductin, and AMCase (acidic mammalian chitinase), as well as catalytically active chitotriosidases. The conserved domain is an eight-stranded alpha/beta barrel fold belonging to the family 18 glycosyl hydrolases. The fold has a pronounced active-site cleft at the C-terminal end of the beta-barrel. The chitolectins lack a key active site glutamate (the proton donor required for hydrolytic activity) but retain highly conserved residues involved in oligosaccharide binding. Chitotriosidase is a chitinolytic enzyme expressed in maturing macrophages, which suggests that it plays a part in antimicrobial defense. Chitotriosidase hydrolyzes chitotriose, as well as colloidal chitin to yield chitobiose and is therefore considered an exochitinase. Chitotriosidase occurs in two major forms, the large form being converted to the small form by either RNA or post-translational processing. Although the small form, containing the chitinase domain alone, is sufficient for the chitinolytic activity, the additional C-terminal chitin-binding domain of the large form plays a role in processing colloidal chitin. The chitotriosidase gene is nonessential in humans, as about 35% of the population are heterozygous and 6% homozygous for an inactivated form of the gene. HCGP39 is a 39-kDa human cartilage glycoprotein thought to play a role in connective tissue remodeling and defense against pathogens.